Public puts pressure on R2 chair, board

COLUMBIA – Calls for the resignation of Richland Two school board chair Amelia McKie grew Tuesday night, with a fellow board member joining in those calls.

Meantime, two other board members are suggesting publicity of missing school board ethics forms has been “racially motivated.”

Board member Lindsay Agostini led the charge of those calling for McKie’s resignation.

“As you try to straighten things up for you and your family, I at a minimum ask that you step down as chair,” Agostini said. “A premier district deserves a premier board.”

In prepared remarks, McKie apologized later in the evening for not filing her ethics forms. She said her forms are now current, and that she’s working with legal counsel to address nearly $52,000 in fines she owes the S.C. Ethics Commission.

“I am responsible and I am not running from those problems,” she said in prepared remarks.

She declined to comment on calls for her resignation, referring The Voice to her prepared statement.

At least two board members injected race into the ethics debate.

Board members Monica Elkins-Johnson and Teresa Holmes said news reports have been inaccurate, but, when asked, wouldn’t say what was incorrect.

“All of the stuff you saw in the paper wasn’t necessarily factual,” Holmes said. Some of it was racially motivated, I do believe that. “Some of it was racially motivated, I really do believe that.”

Stephen Gilchrist, a board member with the Richland Two Black Parents Association, said following state ethics laws is not about race.

“It’s not a racial issue from our perspective,” Gilchrist said. “This is about ethics issues Ms. McKie is dealing with, and of course the board in Richland 2.”

Read more about this story in Thursday’s edition of The Voice.